New Project Will Diversify the U.S. Educator Workforce by Providing Pathways to Teaching for Refugees/(Im)migrants

teacher pointing to chalkboard

Childhood Education International is launching a new project to increase the diversity of the U.S. teacher workforce by supporting adults with refugee/(im)migrant backgrounds in joining the teaching profession.

Building upon our established Refugee Educator Academy work, this project will provide professional development and career mentorship to approximately 50 refugee/(im)migrant adults who want to pursue a teaching career. Through facilitated online communities of practice, participants will engage in nearly a year of professional learning, micro-credentialing, mentorship, career exploration, and the development of personalized career plans.

The project also seeks to improve systems by creating inclusive pathways to education careers.

“We believe this project will serve as a model for connecting refugees and immigrants who want to become educators to the opportunities they deserve, while improving schools by diversifying the workforce, addressing teacher shortages, and creating more inclusive schools,” said Diane Whitehead, President and CEO of CE International.

Teaching working in a professional development programAs part of this project, CE International will expand and formalize partnerships with schools, state departments of education, and universities to enhance, open, and better support pathways to teaching and diversification of the teaching workforce.

“We’re excited that this project will contribute to increasing the number of teachers with refugee/(im)migrant backgrounds in the U.S. and increase transparency around the process required to become a teacher in the U.S.,” said Julie Kasper, Director of Teacher Learning and Leadership at CE International’s Center for Professional Development. “Representation matters in our schools. Alongside schoolwide culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogies, policies, and practices, increasing the number of teachers of refugee/(im)migrant experience has transformational potential to create more equitable, joyful, and belonging learning environments for students with transnational experience.”

Research shows that increased diversity within schools yields better outcomes for all students. Although more than 50 percent of public-school students in the U.S. identify as students of color, teachers of color comprise only 20 percent of the educator workforce.

We are honored to receive support for this project from the NewSchools Venture Fund, a leading venture philanthropy that funds innovators who are building a better PK-12 education system. As part of a distinguished national cohort of organizations focused on diversifying the education workforce, we look forward to implementing this project and learning from the New Schools Venture Fund and other grantees.

We plan to share emerging insights during this project through a blog co-authored by participants and a white paper on teacher career pathways and policy and practice recommendations based on the successes, challenges, and learnings from the project.

Learn More About the Project